Crunchiness is one of those qualities that I admire but almost never display. I have no problem with “attachment parenting” given that those who practice it don’t find fault with me for not practicing it. I buy baby food rather than make it, I use Pampers with (almost) alarming frequency, and the only reason that I make baby wipes is because 1) it’s easy 2) it’s cheaper.
Nature is all well and good, but it often makes me itch, so I’m happiest if it doesn’t come into the house with me. The prospect of camping reminds me to self medicate with a bottle of booze and my shaker set and scout out nearby McDonalds. My idea of roughing it involves staying in a hotel, and only ordering room service once. You’re shuddering right along with me, aren’t you?
I began breastfeeding Alex mainly because I am stubborn, and with my Ben-related anxiety over my abilities to do so, I needed to prove to myself that I could. Unlike with Ben, who I was DETERMINED to nurse, I viewed the prospect as a maybe rather than a certainty, because I happen to have become a realist about the illusion of control and children (no matter what you believe, you’re not in control. Period). Had things been overly difficult with Alex, who for all intents and purposes is such a champion nurser who at delivery knew more in the instinctual part of his brain about it than I ever will, I’m certain I’d have stopped after a couple of months. Similac execs would have rejoiced, and I would have become several hundred dollars poorer each month.
I’ve continued breastfeeding only because I am too lazy to wean him AND I am not quite sure how to stop my sweater kittens from acting as milk bags. It IS easier, after awhile, than bottle feeding, no doubt, but also more annoying to me. I don’t so much like it when Dave wants to cuddle with me for longer than about three minutes (unless it leads to something less *ahem* PG), I rarely hug my best friends (and I assure you that I love them with all of my heart), and I assure you that I am the antonym of touchy-feely (which would make me cold and prickily. Yes, yes I am). I love snuggling my children, but NOT ALL OF THE DAMN TIME, which is what nursing involves, because I am just not that kind of person.
Nursing Alexander has made it so that he flips if someone else should decide to graciously assume my nightly duties, because well, that’s what The Lady With The Milk Bags does. And as with Ben, everyone has been pigeon-holed into their respective spots in Alex’s overly-large cranium (It’s a satellite, for serious): Ben makes him laugh and tries to share his food with him, Dad changes poopy diapers and plays SuperBaby with him, and Mom (a.k.a. The Milk Factory) comes in when he cries at night.
It’s sweet, really it is, that his face lights up like a Bud Lite sign and he begins to pump his legs as though he’s riding an invisible bicycle when he sees me when I come in at night. Conversely, should Dave try and take over for me, he screams and weeps copiously (and I wonder why Dave doesn’t volunteer more often. No, no I don’t.), his ickle baby starfish-shaped hands pounding his thighs in frustration at the Universe (sounds like me, eh?).
This week, after having to double my dose of Nite Sleep Aid (which is just stronger diphenhydramine, so don’t worry) AND take a shot of the Green Death flavored Nyquil (seriously, they should just call it that. Their marketing team would be speaking the truth) just to fall asleep, I realized that I needed to call in some medical assistance.
The crux of it was that during the night that I had to essentially overdose myself to get over my anxiety about sleeping, THE BABY WAS SLEEPING JUST FINE. Normally, he does not, which leads to the oft mentioned anxiety, but even on the nights when he does sleep for more than an hour at a stretch, I still cannot sleep. It appears as though I am damned if he does, damned if he doesn’t.
So begrudgingly I called my OB, whom I adore, but had no interest in bringing into this mess because I was fearful that he would tell me to “try drinking warm milk” or something equally trite, and then I would feel as though I’d been slapped in the face, once I’d finally admitted that I had a problem to someone in the position to help me.
He didn’t suggest warm milk, thankfully, but he did inform me that so long as I continue to breastfeed, I cannot take anything stronger than Benadryl.
Despite my non-crunchiness, and because of my stubborn masochism, it’s likely that I will continue to breastfeed, personal discomfort be damned, BECAUSE I KNOW THAT IT’S THE RIGHT THING TO DO FOR MY SON.
I just try to comfort myself on all of those long nights, that no matter what he now believes, he will NOT be seeking comfort in my funbags when he’s in Junior High. I have to draw the line somewhere, right?